Retirement flats to go ahead at former news site in Ipswich

Lower Brook Street

Work to redevelop the former site of the Star and EADT in Lower Brook Street looks set to restart. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Plans to build new retirement homes on the former newspaper office site in Lower Brook Street in Ipswich are set to be revived - eight months after McCarthy & Stone pulled out of the deal.

The company has had a change of plan - and participants at Ipswich Central's conference on reviving town and city centres were told the scheme was now set to go ahead.

The site was home to Archant, previously Eastern Counties Newspapers, for 49 years - from where the Ipswich (formerly Evening) Star and East Anglian Daily Times were published until 2016.

EADT/Star office in Lower Brook Street

The Star and EADT were published from Lower Brook Street until 2016. - Credit: Archant

The site was bought by Ipswich developer John Howard who agreed to sell it on to McCarthy & Stone once the buildings were cleared and it was ready for development.

However, that work was held up by the need for archaeological digs - a process that left Mr Howard feeling very frustrated.

Last September it announced it was pulling of the deal and Mr Howard said he would probably have to look for another developer to take it on.

But he told the Ipswich Central conference that McCarthy & Stone - who have gained planning permission to build 51 retirement flats on the site - would now be going ahead with the development.

New flats in Lower Brook Street CGI

McCarthy & Stone produced this CGI of what the new development could look like. - Credit: McCarthy & Stone

He said later: "We expect to complete the deal in May. You will have to ask McCarthy & Stone what their timescale is, but I am delighted this is now going ahead."

Ipswich Central chair Terry Baxter was delighted at the news: "John told me this last week. It is great, just what we wanted to hear. It looks like the ideal site for a development like this."

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Ipswich Council chair David Ellesmere was also pleased to hear that McCarthy & Stone had revived their interest in the site: "They have full planning permission so if they want to dust that off they can go ahead as soon as they can - this is just the kind of development that the town centre needs."

We contacted McCarthy & Stone to ask about their plans - and when development work was likely to start, but have not so far received a response. 

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